I initially tried to pair down the list of my favorite exhibits in 2020 to '20' instead of '25.' I thought it would be a more clever title, but it was an impossible feat. Ironically, I felt the best exhibits of the year were after all of the COVID lockdowns of summer. This is probably due to artists enjoying a bit of peace and quiet and actually getting to product quality work instead of jet-setting to the next art fair to give collectors studio tours.
In order of when the exhibit opened, below are my top 25 exhibits of 2020.
- Rita Ackermann - Hauser & Wirth
- Sojourner Truth Parsons - Foxy Production
- Billy White - Shrine Gallery
- Grace Weaver - James Cohan
- Serena Stevens Postmasters gallery
- OSGEMEOS - Lehmann Maupin gallery
- Gina Beavers - Marianne Boesky Gallery
- Kyle Dunn - P.P.O.W
- Pieter Schoolwerth - Petzel Gallery
- Cajsa von Zeipel - Company gallery
- Alex Dodge - Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery
- Trenton Doyle Hancock - James Cohan
- Zach Bruder. -Magenta Plains Gallery
- Josh Smith, David Zirner, London
- Dana Schutz, Thomas Dane, Lodon
- Mary Weatherford , Gagosian , London
- Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Gagosian, London
- Jim Shaw, Simon Lee Gallery, London
- Titus Kaphar, Gagosian
- George Condo, Hauser
- Cecily Brown, Paula Cooper Gallery
- Derek Fordjour, Petzel Gallery
- Alex Gardner, The Hole Gallery
- Jennifer Packer, Serpentine Gallerym London
- Genieve Figgis, Almine Rech Gallery, London
If you want to see every gallery exhibit I visited in 2020, feel free to watch the video below and let me know if you agree with my choices.
Top 25 Exhibits of 2020
Rita Ackermann, Hauser & Wirth, NYC
Rita Ackermann's exhibit, Mama ’19, was on view at Hauser & Wirth Gallery in Chelsea, New York, from February 20th - April 11th, 2020.
Sojourner Truth Parsons, Foxy Production, NYC
Sojourner Truth Parsons’ exhibit at Foxy Production, sex and love with a psychologist, was on view July 9th through August 16th, 2020. It was her first solo exhibition at the gallery. To read more about the exhibit, check out my blog post here.
Billy White, Shrine Gallery, NYC
Billy White’s exhibit at Shrine Gallery, was on view June 10 - August 2, 2020. To read more about the exhibit, read my blog post here.
Grace Weaver, James Cohan, NYC
Steps, Grace Weaver's exhibit at James Cohan, showcased her signature elastic-limbed characters exposed, experiencing failure, embarrassment, humiliation, and fear. The exhibit was on view July 15th – September 12th, 2020. Read more about the exhibit here.
Serena Stevens, Postmasters Gallery, NYC
Serena Stevens takes our realities of quarantine and paints them in an ethereal way that reminds us, there can be beauty in the monotony of the everyday. Her exhibit, Iowa Dream, is was on view at Postmasters Gallery in Tribeca from July 12 - September 12, 2020.
OSGEMEOS, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, NYC
The Brazilian duo, OSGEMEOS brought their signature long-limbed, yellow characters to Lehmann Maupin Gallery to bring some much-needed optimism via a gateway into their dream-like world. Portal was the Brazilian duo OSGEMEOS’ second exhibit at Lehmann Maupin Gallery and was on view from September 10th - November 7th.
Gina Beavers, Marianne Boesky Gallery, NYC
Gina Beavers’ sculpture paintings are inspired by Instagram photos. They represent how the internet allows us to display the many sides of who we are as humans. This exhibit is was Beaver’s first solo show with Marianne Boesky was on view from September 15th - October 17th, 2020. Read more about the exhibit here.
Kyle Dunn, P.P.O.W, NYC
In Kyle Dunn’s 3D painting/sculptures, he creates dramatic scenes influenced by sources like the Italian cinema to express the “chaotic journey through grief toward new emotional terrain". His exhibit at P.P.O.W was on view from September 10th - October 17th, 2020. Read more about the exhibit here.
Pieter Schoolwerth, Petzel Gallery, NYC
In the midst of a Covid-19 lockdown, Pieter Schoolwerth explored how we now live our lives through avatars as a representation of our physical selves. Shifted Sims was Pieter Schoolwerth’s first solo exhibition at Petzel Gallery, on view at their Chelsea location from September 3rd - October 31st. The exhibit is meant to represent our lives during the lockdown. Read more about the exhibit here.
Cajsa von Zeipel, Company Gallery, NYC
Swedish artist, Cajsa von Zeipel brings nine of her other-worldly silicon sculptures to her exhibit at Company Gallery, exploring the theme of capitalism and how it impacts our sense of self. Cajsa von Zeipel’s exhibit, Nine Lives, consisted of nine, insanely intricate silicon sculptures, on view at Company Gallery from September 10th - October 17th, 2020. Read more about the exhibit here.
Alex Dodge, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, NYC
Alex Dodge marries technology with art in his practice and philosophy, creating works that speak to the balance between authentic human connection and the empowerment of technology. Alex Dodge’s exhibit at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery in the Lower East Side, New York, was on view from September 10th - October 17th, 2020. Read more about the exhibit here.
Trenton Doyle Hancock, James Cohan, NYC
In Trenton Doyle Hancock's 7th exhibit at James Cohan Gallery, he brought us all of the rich detail of his fictional word - the Moundverse to analyze themes of American identity and white supremacy. ‘Something American’ was Trenton’s 7th exhibit with James Cohan Gallery and was on view at both their New York locations (Tribeca and LES) from September 17th - Oct 17th, 2020. Read more about the exhibit here.
Zach Bruder, Magenta Plains Gallery, NYC
Zach Bruder's exhibit at Magenta Plains Gallery liberated images reference throughout history by setting them in a new, present-day context. Zach Bruder’s exhibit, Gone to Fair, was on view at Magenta Plains Gallery in the lower east side from September 16th - October 21st. Read more about the exhibit here.
Josh Smith, David Zirner, London
Josh Smith's exhibit, Spectre, at David Zwirner's London Gallery, captured the beauty in a deserted New York Neighborhood during Covid, and the peace it offered from a usually bustling pace. The exhibit was on view from September 15th until October 31st, 2020. Read more about the exhibit here.
Dana Schutz, Thomas Dane Gallery, London
Dana Schutz exhibit at Thomas Dane Gallery in London was on view from September 16th - December 19th, 2020.
Mary Weatherford, Gagosian, London
In Mary Weatherford's exhibit, Train Yards, at Gagosian in London, she brought a dark, all-black color palette to her abstract works to convey a dramatic and vibrant urban environment. The exhibit is on view from September 22, 2020 – February 27, 2021. Read more about the exhibit here.
Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Gagosian Gallery, London
In the absence of Frieze London, Gagosian traded a solo booth for a solo exhibit of works by Nathaniel Mary Quinn that explores the concepts of identity and self-perception through portraits. Nathaniel Mary Quinns' exhibit at Gagosian Gallery’s Davies Street location in London was on view from October 1st –November 21st, 2020. Read more about the exhibit here.
Jim Shaw, Simon Lee Gallery, London
Jim Shaw's exhibit, Hope Against Hope, at Simon Lee's London location depicts the American political landscape in his signature comic-style collage paintings, perfectly timed for the American elections. The exhibit is on view 20 October 2020 - 16 January 2021. Read more about the exhibit here.
Titus Kaphar, Gagosian Gallery, NYC
Titus Kaphar's inaugural exhibit at Gagosian Gallery illustrated the profound pain experienced by Black mothers around the fear they'll lose their children. Titus Kaphar’s exhibit, From a Tropical Space, at Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea, was on view from October 1st – December 19th, 2020. Read more about the exhibit here.
George Condo, Hauser & Wirth, NYC
In George Condo's exhibit, Internal Riot at Hauser & Wirth, he captured the struggle society has been through this year with COVID and how through that struggle we can begin to reshape society. The exhibit was on view from November 5th to January 23rd, 2021. Read more about the exhibit here.
Cecily Brown, Paula Cooper Gallery, NYC
Cecily Brown draws inspiration from 17th-century Dutch paintings, abstracting objects to create some of the most profound, modern, abstract works of our time. Her exhibit at Paula Cooper Gallery’s 26th street location was on view from October 15th until December 12th, 2020. Read more about the exhibit here.
Derek Fordjour, Petzel Gallery, NYC
Derek Fordjour's exhibit, SELF MUST DIE, at Petzel Gallery explored multiple faces of death in the present time whether figuratively from covid or racial violence or the metaphorical death of the ego. The exhibit was on view from November 14th - December 19th. Read more about the exhibit here.
Alex Gardner, The Hole Gallery, NYC
In Alex Gardner’s exhibit at The Hole, he departed from his signature black, faceless figures, into an all-blue color scheme that brings an almost Renaissance-like quality to his works. Alex Gardner’s exhibit, Blues, was on view at The Hole from November 19th – December 27th, 2020. Read more about the exhibit here.
Jennifer Packer, Serpentine Gallery, London
Jennifer Packer’s exhibit at Serpentine Gallery features expressionist portraits of contemporary Black individuals in order to solidify their rightful representation within the future of art history. Jennifer Packer’s exhibit, The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing, is on view at Serpentine Gallery in London from December 5th, through March 14th. Read more about the exhibit here.
Genieve Figgis, Almine Rech Gallery, London
Genieve Figgis's exhibit at Almine Rech in London consisted of abstract portraitures of imaginary quarantine companions, inspired by art history heroes such as Goya and Velázquezs. Genieve Figgis’s exhibit, Imaginary Friends, was on view at Almine Rech’s London Gallery from November 19th - December 19th, 2020. Read more about the exhibit here.